Frequently Asked Questions: Financial Aid
Please be sure to provide your Name and Sac State ID# when contacting the Financial Aid Office.
Applying for Aid
How do I apply for financial aid?
The first step in the process of applying for aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable academic year. Be sure that you are completing the FAFSA for the semesters in which you are applying for aid. A new FAFSA is required for each academic year you apply for aid. You can complete the application at www.fafsa.gov.
What is your school code?
How do I submit financial aid documents?
Note: Please include your name and student ID on each page of all documents.
1. ONLINE: Upload
documents securely using your My Sac State account
(RECOMMENDED). You can find the link to upload documents under
the Financial Aid Links section.
Note: Compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge web browsers. This is the best and fastest option for the office to receive your documents.
2. IN-PERSON: Use the document drop-box located outside the Student Service Center, Lassen Hall 1000 near the main entrance.
Attention: Financial Aid and Scholarships
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6044
4. FAX: 916-278-6082
Allow five (5) business days for the status of your document to change from “Initiated” to “Received” in your Student Center > ToDo List. Documents will remain on your To Do List in “Received” status as it is pending review by the office. Note: Incomplete documents (I.e., illegibility, missing information or signatures) will remain in “Initiated” status and will require a resubmission.
Allow 4-6 weeks for processing upon receipt of ALL requested documents by the Financial Aid office. Processing timelines may increase as the semester approaches. Note: Processed documents will no longer be listed on your To Do List.
All financial aid forms can be found on the Financial Aid Office website.
I am having issues with the CCE information request form, how do I submit?
If you encounter issues with submitting the form from your ToDo list, please be sure you are using another browser other than Internet Explorer such as Firefox or Chrome.
To add classes to the form for the Fall and Spring semesters you will need to be sure to fill in all 5 sections marked with an asterisk on the form:
- Semester – click in the box to access the drop-down box to select the semester
- Course ID
- Number of units
- Start Date
- End Date
Once all 5 sections are completed you will be able to click the Add button to add each class for the Fall and Spring semester. If you are unsure of your classes, please contact your program coordinator at CCE for assistance. If you are not enrolling in a program through the CCE please contact the Admissions Office to verify the program you listed when applying to Sacramento State. There is a separate application required for Summer and will be available to complete on your Student Center in mid-April.
Financial Aid Verification
The Department of Education selects a portion of financial aid applicants for the school to conduct Financial Aid Verification, a mandatory review. Verification is the process where the school is required to confirm the accuracy of your financial aid file. The school may request the student to submit documents before determining their award eligibility.
Do I have to submit documents for my financial aid file?
Students who are required to submit documentation will be informed with items on their Student Center > ToDo List. Check your student account to determine what may be needed.
To Do List Statuses:
Initiated: Action is required by the student.
Received: Item is received by office and pending review.
Tip: Documents that are processed will be removed from the ToDo List.
Why is the Financial Aid office asking for information on my financial aid application?
Your financial aid application is selected for Verification, a process that requires the office to confirm the information reported on your application. Check your Student Center > To Do List for any required documents that need to be submitted.
What tax documents do I need?
Refer to your Student Center > ToDo List for further instructions. Use our Resource Videos for further assistance.
How do I check if my verification documents have been received?
The status of your financial aid documents can be checked at any time within your Student Center To-Do list. You can expand the list by selecting the “more” link. Within the To-Do list, you can view additional information such as the department requesting items, the documents requested, and a description of each, as well as the status of each item.
Any item marked “Initiated” is being requested from you. Once you submit documents they will be updated within five (5) business days to say “Received” which means that it is with our office and waiting to be processed.
For the Financial Aid office to move forward with your file, all documents/items requested by the Financial Aid Office must be in a “Received” status. After all the items say “Received”, you should allow 4-6 weeks for processing.
Financial Aid Awards
How do I apply for financial aid?
File your Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) or Dream Act Application and apply for admission to your degree program.
How do I access my financial aid offer?
If your financial aid application has been processed by our office then your offers will be posted on your Student Center > Accept/Decline Award link for the academic year.
Use the “View Financial Aid” link to see the breakdown of your awards per semester.
Note: New students are typically awarded in June. Continuing students are typically awarded after spring grade review, in July.
Why are there are no financial aid offers on my Student Center?
Most likely, you have outstanding tasks to complete. Check your Student Center > ToDo List and Holds. Details and instructions will be listed in those areas.
Note: New students are typically awarded in June. Continuing students are typically awarded after spring grade review, in July. Be sure to act on any Holds or To Do’s ahead of time. Always check your My Sac State account regularly.
I submitted the CCE information request form but I have changed the classes that I will enroll. How do I notify the Financial Aid Office of this change?
Financial aid is offered based on the CCE information request form submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Any time you make a change to your enrollment from the previously submitted CCE information request form, you will need to notify the Financial Aid Office in one of two ways:
- Submit a revised CCE information request form. The form can be found on the Financial Aid Office website.
- Update the units on your Student Center when you click the “Accept/Decline” awards link and be registered in the same number of units
Enrollment is reviewed again at Census for the semester and if enrollment differs then what your financial aid is based on, an adjustment would be done at that time.
Revised award notifications for change in units are processed within 3 weeks once the Financial Aid Office is notified either through a revised CCE information request form, updated units on your Student Center or after Census for the semester.
Enroll in classes by Census
Eligibility for financial aid is based on the units enrolled as of Census. Census is the date the University determines and locks your enrollment for the semester. Any courses enrolled after Census will not be included when determining your eligibility for aid for the semester. You can find the Census date for the Fall and Spring semester on the Academic Calendar.
Financial Aid Holds
You can review more information about holds by clicking the “details” link under the Holds section. This information will display which department placed the hold and if there is any action required from you. Financial aid holds are semester specific and do not prevent registration in classes.
Disbursement and Refund
When will I receive my financial aid disbursement?
Students enrolled in programs through the College of Continuing Education (CCE) have financial aid disbursed based on when they begin attending certain enrollment for each type of financial aid (grants vs loans). Since classes begin at different times throughout the semester rather than all at the beginning of the semester, each student’s disbursement is dependent on when they reach the required minimum units.
Students are eligible for a disbursement of their Direct loan once they are enrolled and in attendance of at least half-time (6 units) for the semester.
Grants will disburse once enrolled and attending ALL classes or at least twelve (12) units for the semester.
At the time you reach the minimum attendance for the semester, your financial aid will disburse to your account; there is nothing you need to do.
How do disbursement and refunds work?
Disbursement is the process by which the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office authorizes payment of aid. Not all aid programs may be available for full disbursement at one time, and as a result, you may receive multiple disbursements of aid.
After the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office disburses your aid, the Bursar’s Office then begins the application of your aid to any debt and if applicable, the refund process. Refund is the process of any remaining funds after the Bursar’s Office has applied your disbursed aid to your university debt. If you have remaining financial funds after the debt has been satisfied for the semester, the Bursar’s Office will process the remaining funds as a refund.
You are encouraged to sign-up for eRefund which is the process to deposit your refund directly in your own bank account. It is the fastest method of receiving funds. You can view more information about eRefund on the Bursar’s Office website. Erefund takes 2-3 business days from the date of disbursement and paper check 5-7 business days. Check your My Sac State Student Center for updates.
Financial Aid for the Summer semester
The following conditions apply for summer aid:
- Must be a current student (new students starting Fall 2021 are not eligible)
- Must have a 2020-21 Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) completed
- Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- Must be enrolled in at least six (6) units for undergraduate or four (4) units for graduate
Awards for Summer are based on remaining financial aid eligibility not used in the prior Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021 semesters at any college. To qualify for most types of aid you must be enrolled at least half-time (6 units undergraduate, 4 units graduate)
The Financial Aid & Scholarships department must first determine students are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) after the end of the Spring semester. This occurs after final grades and end of term processes are complete. To get an idea of what financial aid you may qualify for, you can always view your Student Aid Report by logging in to studentaid.gov.
View our FAQ’s for Summer on our website.
Find answers to your financial aid questions by visiting Financial Aid TV.
Financial Aid will not cover Winter Intersession classes, as this term does not meet the minimum federal definition for a term for financial aid purposes to allow for a disbursement of aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal law requires students maintain SAP as a requirement for financial aid. Students are measured by three criteria; all three criteria must be met to maintain financial aid.
- Overall Degree Progress
- Minimum Cumulative GPA
- Satisfactory Pace Standard
At Sacramento State we measure SAP for all students on an annual basis. This is typically completed in early June after Spring grades are posted and all students’ academic records are updated for the academic year. Students that do not meet the three criteria measured may submit an appeal for reconsideration of aid.
Visit the Financial Aid Office website for more information about Sacramento State’s SAP policy and submitting a SAP appeal.
What is the deadline to submit a SAP appeal?
- Fall 2021 appeal/document deadline: September 13, 2022
- Spring 2022 appeal/document deadline: February 4, 2022
The Consortium Agreement allows undergraduate students to consider courses taken at a school other than Sac State, and have those courses count toward the degree at the home school. Units enrolled at another school and approved under the Consortium Agreement will be combined with the units at the home campus (Sac State) for consideration of federal aid programs.
Consortium agreements are available on a semester-by-semester basis (Summer and Winter Sessions excluded). Courses taken at another institution must apply toward your degree at Sacramento State. Eligibility criteria for a consortium agreement at Sac State are as follows:
- A completed financial aid file
- Must be enrolled in at least half-time at Sacramento State (wait list not counted)
- Coursework must be degree applicable and transferrable
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
Visit the Financial Aid Office website to learn more about Consortium Agreements.
What is the deadline to submit a Consortium Agreement?
- Fall 2021: September 24, 2021
- Spring 2022: February 18, 2022
Loss of Income
The Financial Aid application for 2021-2022 academic year uses tax information from the 2019 tax year. We understand you and/or your family’s financial situation may have changed from one tax year to the next. For example, a loss of income or employment, as so many have experienced in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The student must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (SAP) and will need to submit the Loss of Income appeal for 20-21 along with third party documentation that will verify the appeal reason. Note: If you and/or your family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is currently $0, then there is no need to file an appeal as you already qualified for the maximum need-based aid.
Visit the Financial Aid Office website for more information on submitting a Loss of Income Appeal.
What is the deadline to submit a Loss of Income appeal?
- Fall 2021 semester only: November 12, 2021
- Academic Year/Spring 2022: March 4, 2022
Withdrawing from a Course
Withdrawing from courses after the first day of instruction may cause students to incur partial fees and/or to repay certain types of financial aid. Prorated fees are charged from the first day of the semester until the day of the drop — through 60% of the semester — regardless of when the student enrolled, or when the course began. Click here to view how withdrawing impacts Financial Aid.